IAAC – Master in Robotics and Advanced Construction
Workshop 1.1
Faculty: Efilena Baseta
Faculty Assistant: Marielena Papandreou


Credits: Treluci Lights   


In the world of computational design, when every shape is possible, fabricability becomes an important parameter. Especially for the cost-efficient production of double-curved surfaces, the developability* of the surfaces is important. In this course the theoretical background of developable surfaces will be explained and a specific category of them, the ones with planar rectangular unfolding (strips), will be explored.

The design method of the 3D strips that will be used in this seminar is based on Physics simulation (Kangaroo 2), where several geometrical constraints force a real time deformation (controlled by the user) to maintain the properties of a developable strip. The resulting strip, in 2D and 3D form, is discretised in planar quadrilaterals and described by 2 parameters; the directionality of the creases and the angle between successive quadrilaterals. As a result, the strips can be easily fabricated from metal strips (approximate dimensions of 1000 x 80 x 2mm) with a robotic arm, by holding and bending one crease after the other.

Credits: Physical simulation designs by Eflina Baseta

Each student will be asked to design several 3D developable strips with the aforementioned method. In continuation, these strips will be structurally analysed with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software (Karamba 3D) and the one with the minimum deflection will be selected for fabrication.

Credits: Physical simulation designs by Eflina Baseta

The fabricated 3D strips of all the students will be joined together, maintaining the coplanarity of successive strips, and will form a continuous spatial line, which can serve as a structure for a hanging light installation.

* Developable surfaces have a planar unfolding. They behave just like paper if we bend or twist them without tearing or stretching. This property makes them easily fabricated from flat sheets such as metal.

Learning objectives

The course aims to improve the knowledge of the students in the following fields:

  • Developable surfaces
  • Physics simulation (Kangaroo)
  • Structural Analysis (Karamba 3D)
  • Robotic fabrication

Credits: Developable surface and strip / Strip discretization and connection by Eflina Baseta